Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Just a Little Thought: Growing

Have you ever read something you wrote years ago and been shocked at how young you were, and how much growing you have done? That's something that's happened to me lately. 

I've been working hard on my blog these past few days, hints all of the construction and sawdust (sorry, try not to breath any asbestos!), and I began to comb through some of my old blog posts. Many of them were fond memories of my 'younger' days, but with some of them I was really shocked at how...well....immature I was. It's a real shocker, and a boost (depending on how you look at it) to see how far you've come, and to know that there are certain faults you aren't battling as much. Not to say that I'm not still immature --I know that I'm still very young at heart, which is good to a certain extent, I grew up slowly and I'm happy because of it--but what I'm trying to say is, there are certain needless battles that I was fighting with myself that have since resolved themselves. 

I look back at myself then and think, "I was so immature! Great...now I'm embarrassed I ever sounded like that!" But I comfort myself with the knowledge that I've grown a lot since then. I've learned a lot since then, won a lot of battles and experienced a lot of joys. 

This has hit me especially hard lately as I am preparing to go back to college. I began thinking about how young I am and how I still have so much to learn and, needless to say, I began to worry. I thought about how I'm still just a baby and I began praying to God about the issue, saying that I felt unprepared. During this time I decided to redo my blog, and that's when I saw the old posts. 
I read almost all of them, and was shocked at how much I have changed. The way I post, speak to others, and see myself has--I think--matured. It was a real shocker and boost. Funny how God throws these little things into our lives. 

Now, I'm in no way completely mature! I still act goofy and have a lot to learn about the world and my faith. I'm not trying to sound all, "OOOOHHH look how mature I am now! HAHAHA!". I'm still a kid, having fun and living at my own speed while I can and enjoying the world God has given me! But this was a message that I'd like to share.

We all mature at our own rates, that's something that is near and dear to my heart. So many people seem to want to grow up too fast, rushing through their early life so they can 'fit in', and with those of us who decide to take our own chosen paths...things can be rough. My parents were always very supportive of me in this area, they encouraged me to be more mature--but not in the way the world wants, but in the way God wants. I took my steps as God placed them before me and enjoyed it. 

But we all feel immature at sometimes, and we all act immature at times. We all have that friend we get completely crazy with, or that one day when we just want to be silly. That's just us! However, there are those doubts that leak into our minds that tell us that we aren't moving fast enough, or we're not doing things right. We're behind, unprepared, stupid, or silly. We're immature. 

Now, there are times when we feel we have acted immaturely, and know we should have been more responsible or respectful. In those situations, however, we have a pressing on our hearts to do better and we calmly and quietly move forward up the new step God has given us. The doubts I'm talking about are the ones that keep you up at night, worrying if you're 'good enough' to face the world; old enough inside to face what is thrown at you. Will you fit in? Will you be able to handle yourself without being branded as the 'weirdo'? 

Those doubts aren't steps, they're fears. Fears set within your heart to keep you from moving forward. I could never say that trusting that God moves you forward in his own timing is easy, but is comforting to realize that he does. 

God moves us when he wants to move us, and where he wants to move us! Sometimes, in trying to grow up fast we don't really grow up at all. Growing up takes time and we have to learn each lesson that God places before us. Some are painful and some are not, but hard or not we have to learn them. 

But it is comforting to know that you have, indeed, matured. You're not the same person you were five years ago, you've grown! You've learned so much! To me, that's something to celebrate! Knowing that you've moved forward in your journey is exciting! Exhilarating! 
Sometimes I think we get so caught up in trying to conquer our current step that we forget to look back and smile at all of the challenges we've already over come! God intended us to live our lives happily, honoring him and resting in his peace; part of that is celebrating in the path he has placed us on and the great works he has accomplished in our lives!

This is a message I just wanted the share today because I believe it is a powerful one. 

We don't have to grow up in a day, nor do we have to conform to the world's idea of 'normal'. We answer to a different authority; one who loves us very much and who knows what is best for us. God matures us as needed, and while we still need to work with him and the pressings that he places on our hearts, we can rest easy knowing we are in good hands. 

I don't usually share spiritual things, as I believe I am still growing in my Christian walk, but I just wanted to share this little thought with you. :)

Your happy blogger,


Thursday, July 25, 2013

The 'Lend Your Name Giveaway' has Closed

Well everyone, the 'Lend Your Name Giveaway' has closed as of today! The drawing for the winner will be on July 27th! So don't miss out! 

Thanks so much for all of your entries and comments! I have enjoyed reading each and everyone and getting to meet new and creative people! I hope you all have had fun with this, I know I have, and I'm looking forward to seeing who wins! 

Your Happy Blogger,


Saturday, July 20, 2013

'4 Worst Pieces of Advice for Young Writers' and Questions

I know I haven't posted articles for a long time, and don't really intend to use them very much anymore, but I found this one rather interesting! If you would like to see more articles, let me know, other wise I will try to post about other stuff. Also, I was thinking about posting about some of my new DIY projects. I know that a lot of people are interested in that, and I myself have been wanting to do more DIY, but I was wondering if you guys would like that? I'm just trying to fill the gaps between the queries!

Anyway, enjoy the article!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Joined Bloglovin!

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/9919027/?claim=qhzptketabj">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Yea, that's the annoying code you have to put in to 'claim' the blog!

Anyway, I'm really excited about getting to connect with new and old friends! I hope to see you guys around! :D

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Last Week of the Lend Your Name Giveaway!

Hello everyone! 

I just wanted to give you all a quick heads up that the Lend Your Name Giveaway ends in just one week!
My how the time flies! I've loved getting to read all of your entries and I can't wait to see who wins!  

For a brief recap, the Lend Your Name Giveaway started about a month ago and is a chance for you to inspire a character that will be put into the sequel to my up coming novel Code! This new character can fight either along side the leads or against them, you decide! If you haven't already entered, or if you have but would like to change your answers, just comment below and answer these questions! 

1) What's Your First Name?
Just your first name, I will make something up for your last name if I need to. And yes, if you're a girl the character will be a girl and if you're a boy the character will be a boy.

2) What Side is This Character On?

Here are the two sides: 

On the good side is a rough and tough colonel who doesn't always play by the rules, but who has a good heart and fights for freedom and equality. He is truly at his greatest when he is in combat, and he is a watchful guardian over his men. He cares deeply for all those around him, and holds himself personally responsible for their lives. He's rugged, loud, brash and boldly heroic.

On the bad side is a mastermind of deception and manipulation. He rules by inciting anarchy and by stirring up long standing feelings of hatred and unrest. He offers the people under him their deepest desires, but only because it benefits him. He is an invisible puppet master, controlling everyone around him by letting people believe that he can give them what they want, when in reality he is enslaving them. 

Not a very good pic, but it gets the point across.

3) What is Their Military Rank?

Since this book is composed of mainly military characters, you will be able to choose this character's rank. You can go all the way up to general if you like, it's fine with me! 

4) Do They Live or Die? 

The million dollar question! Note, if you choose death, you won't be able to choose how they die, simply because I alone know when and where they could die, but if you want them to die then say so! Either way it really doesn't matter to me. So go on, channel your inner Steven Moffat! 

Also, for legalities sake, I must say this: NOTEby entering this contest you are giving me legal right to use your first name and any suggestions about this character. Please understand that you do not own this character I do. Don't worry, I'm not going to make them do anything disgusting, but I just want everyone to understand this up front so there are no issues later. Also, please don't use the name of anyone in your own work (stories, poems, movies, ect) when entering your first name. Just use your real first name. :)

The contest ends on July 25th and the winner will be announced on the 27th. I'm thinking of doing a video announcement, that is, if I can get my voice back in shape. I've got a nasty little cold that has affected my voice really badly; right now I'm just hoping it doesn't turn into laryngitis!

I'm so excited to see so many entries! I have really enjoyed reading them and I can tell that all of you have put a great amount of thought into them! I can hardly wait to see who wins! I think everyone's entries have just made my excitement grow! Each person has a new vision; a new image for this character, and I think I'm in love with each one! You guys are amazing; thanks so much for entering! :D 

Again, I'm thinking of doing a video announcement, but that's only if my voice is back to normal. Surely it will be better in a week...right?! Come on, I'm tired of sounding like a cigarette crazy frog!

Well anyway, the contest is nearly over and I'm very glad that so many people have entered! Thanks so much and I'll see you all on July 27th for the big reveal! :D 

If you would like to link to this post, or if you know someone who would like to enter, please feel free to share!

Your Busy Blogger,


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Agents Move at Their Own Pace

Agents move at their own pace, working their way through miles of manuscripts and queries while managing their own client list. This is a lesson I am currently having to learn.

I have always been a planner, someone who would rather things be mapped out and secure than floating around in the breeze. But no matter how useful a planner may be to a gathering or project, they are often forced to relearn an age old lesson:

The world and our good Lord don't operate on the same time schedule as us.

This is a fact of life that I am currently living with. My over anxious nature, and natural tendency towards over preparation, have me up at nights, tossing and turning over every sentence in my query letters and whether or not an agent will even open the email that I spent so many hours preparing. However, I'm learning, and that's an important step.

It's not yet time for my queries to close, I have at least two more weeks. After that I am going to start querying again. I've stopped briefly because many agencies don't like simultaneous submissions, so I have to wait for my old queries to close before I can do others. I already have several picked out, but, like I said, I have to wait two more weeks before I can start up again!

This long period of waiting has given me time to hang out with my friends and have some experiences worth writing about!

I got to see The Lone Ranger with my friends James and Jacob.

It was good, not great, but good. I enjoyed it and it was a fun movie to see with friends. However, I must say, I cared very little for the story and absolutely hated the character of the Lone Ranger. He was too big of a weenie for me. Also, I didn't like all of the agendas that were worked into the story. Evil business men who built America; evil and crazy Christians who hated the Indians. Oh yea, wonderful. Then the whole love triangle was actually a little creepy. I won't say what it was, but just think about the Twilight love triangle, you know, where Bella was in love with Edward and Jacob and then she married Edward and had a daughter--who Jacob then imprinted on? Yea, creepy. 

I also got to have a girls movie night with my amazing friends Hannah, Clara and Jessie! We went up to Griffin and saw Despicable Me Two!

I know, teenage girls going to see a kids movie...but this was part of our childhood so we wanted to watch the conclusion. :) Also, it's good to be a kid once in a while. 

It was good, cute mainly and a definite girly movie. We loved the humor and the conclusion to the story. I though the story could have been a bit better, but other than that it was really good. It was really nice to see Gru growing more into the father role and (eventually) another role as well! :D

Beyond that I've also been to a museum in Atlanta on a day trip with my family. No picture sadly, but fun none the less. My cousin was really interested in seeing all of the dinosaurs in the museum--and went crazy when he finally found a room filled with life size dinosaur replicas! It was so cute! He went to each one and tried--with surprising success--to say their names! Way to go little Michael! 

I also had a full day of friends yesterday. Everyone except Clara (her little sister was sick :( ) was there! We had a great time, although, James and I nearly pulled our hair out as we tried to get Skype to work on my computer. We never succeeded, though I do now have a Skype account that I can access via our family Ipad! If anybody wants to Skype sometime let me know! :D 

As of right now, however, I'm sick. Oh yea, once again this summer I've caught a cold. So far this one isn't as bad as the first one--seeing how I haven't totally collapsed and wallowed in my own germs. I've stayed in bed, but that's about it as of right now--I really don't want to get my little sister or brother sick, so I'm being really careful with lots of hand sanitizer! Of course, hand sanitizer didn't help me when it came to NOT getting sick! Of course, there is only so much that stuff can do. 

When we went to the museum, there were at least six camp groups there and a ton of other unsupervised children who were coughing and sneezing at every turn. I used up a whole bottle that day. Then there were lots of kids a the theater who were coughing--again, used a lot of my new bottle. Then, yesterday, Mrs. Darcy (Clara's mom) said that Clara's littlest sister was sick, and then another lady came over for tea and one of her kids broke out in a fever while they were over. Again, used hand sanitizer but there is only so much it can do. 

So as of now I'm hold up in my room with a sore throat and a groggy head. Not fun. I'm just glad that this happened on a week when there really wasn't anything I had to do. Next week my mother and I are supposed to go shopping for back to school clothes, then on the first week of August I'm going to the beach! 

I'm very excited! It has been years since we went to the ocean for a vacation, and I plan on using it as an opportunity to catch up on some of my writing. 

You see, when my family goes on vacations, we don't rush on sight seeing tours or to the most popular hot spots, we go to a private beach and spend several long, relaxing days in our own condo. I'm really looking forward to visiting a few of the shops around town! :D 

As for now, though, I'm very tired and I'd like to use some of my remaining energy in writing. Please forgive all of the grammar and spelling mistakes this post has, I'm just too tired to fix them. :( 

Until next time,

Your sick and busy blogger,


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July!

Hello lovely bloggers and Happy Fourth of July! 

Well, another holiday has appeared at our doorstep here on the rainy homestead and busy preparations have begun. 
The Fourth has never been a huge holiday for us, there's very little you can do around here besides shoot of fireworks or drink beer--some people combining the two for a disastrous result. 
We normally engage in the first rather than the latter--thank heavens for that--but this year we are going to forgo the fireworks seeing how we have not acquired any. 

Yes, you heard it, me the pyromaniac has no fire to play with on the Fourth of July...how will I survive? 

This year we're just having a simple cookout with some old friends, plus a delicious serving of peach ice cream! Yummy! Beyond that my plans are simple, finish reading Ender's Game, work on my new book; pester agents...you know, normal everyday stuff. :) 

I've found some really great agencies, but I have to wait until my other queries close before I can contact them--which should happen sometime at the end of this month. When a query closes, that just means that either the agent wasn't interested or they contact you and ask for more material. I'm hoping for the latter, but I'm still new in this game! ;)

Anyway, I just wanted to pop in briefly and wish you all a Happy Fourth July! 

God Bless America


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Book of the Month: Beautiful Creatures

Finally! I have finally been able to access the Internet and boy does it feel good to be back! :D 

As you can see, the book of the month is Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

In case you are wondering what happened to me over these past few days, our fragile Internet has taken a turn for the worst. Apparently, our little wireless box was hit by lightening! No, I am not kidding, struck by lightening and fried to a crisp! Naturally, we were all very upset...me most of all. Internet is my lifeline, the blood in my veins so to speak--without it I'm left to crawl around the floor aimlessly while moaning out unearthly noises. So basically it's like caffeine. 

Any who, since I had no Internet, I wasn't able to post the book review or check up on any emails or comments! Bummer. I've got an announcement to make as well, before we get into the thick of the review.

I am proud to say that I am now a participate in the NaNoWriMo Camp! It's a lot like National Writer's Month, only this time you can set your word count! I'm working on another draft of Book Two and have set the target word count at 40,000--hopefully an achievable goal. I will be posting a few updates now and then, between that and querying of course! 

Now on with the review!


Ethan Wate is the son of a reclusive author and a brilliant historian who lives in the very humdrum town of Gatlin, Georgia. Plagued by dreams of a beautiful girl falling into a dark well, Ethan's world begins to rapidly change.
 Life in Gatlin seems to have come to a screeching halt and its citizens run on a continuous loop. Nothing new or exciting ever happens in Gatlin, that is, until Lena Duchannes moves into her uncle's estate. 

Rumored to be witches, the Ravenwood family has remained a terrible mystery to the people of Gatlin. When Lena first arrives at school, she is shunned and mocked for her strange dress and unusual family background. Rumors and vicious lies spread like wildfire around her, and only one person seems to be trying to put out the flames. 

Ethan Wate.

Recognizing her as the girl from his dreams, Ethan feels an immediate connection to her, which in the coming weeks becomes much stronger. However, Lena hides a dark secret. 

Lena, like all the other women in her family, is a witch--or a Caster as they like to be called, and upon her sixteenth birthday her powers will be claimed for either the light or the dark. Believing that she will be claimed for the dark, Lena pushes Ethan away in the hopes of protecting him from the dark magic that surrounds her family, but soon discovers that their connection goes deeper than either of them could have ever imagined.


There are many characters in the Beautiful Creatures Series, but I will only list a few of the main ones for the sake of time. 

Ethan Wate:

Ethan is the narrator for the Beautiful Creatures novels. Born to a frustrated writer and a brilliant historian, Ethan has been raised in the poe-dunky town of Gatlin Georgia his entire life. After loosing his mother when he was a child, Ethan was raised by his family's house keeper Amma, as his father became a recluse. 

Adventurous, ambitious, curious, kind, and a bit rebellious, Ethan's sole mission is to leave Gatlin forever as soon as he graduates High School, that is, until he meets Lena. 

I really liked Ethan's character as he is a rare find in YA literature. Basically, he's nice. That's it, he's nice, kind, stable, protective and, most assuredly, not dangerous. Ethan is a calm in the storm and steadfastly loyal to those he cares for. 

Also, since Lena is the one with all of the power in this story, I liked how the authors managed to keep Ethan tough throughout the story. He doesn't always need to be protected by Lena, nor does she always need to be protected by him. There is an uncommon balance between the two of them that kept the story on the right  track.

Lena Duchannes 

Lena Duchannes is a girl with a secret; one which could destroy everyone she holds dear. 

Born a Caster, Lena's powers will be claimed for either the light or the dark once she turns sixteen. Brave, reclusive yet caring, Lena shows great control and strength as she moves through her story. 

I also found Lena a very enjoyable character, mainly because unlike the many other female characters in today's novels, she has a brain. She isn't easily swayed and is very protective over those she loves. Lena holds the balance between damsel in distress and mighty huntress perfectly. 

Macon Ravenwood:

Dark, mysterious and dangerously charming, Macon is Lena's uncle who watches over her in the absence of her father and dangerous mother. Protective to a fault, Macon's sole purpose is to guide his niece through the turbulent road ahead of her. Being a dark creature himself, Macon understands the extreme danger and loss of giving into evil and tries to prevent Lena from making the same mistake. A firm believer that Lena can choose her own fate, Macon bravely charms his way through the story as both a Night Errant and a wounded soul.

Sarafine Duchannes 

Serving as the antagonist of the story line, as well as being Lena's long lost mother, Sarafine is a power hungry monster who will destroy all she loves to get what she wants. Urging her fledgling daughter to join her in the dark, Sarafine plans for her daughter to purge the earth of humans so that Casters might rule. 


I really liked this book, and that's putting it lightly. I found both the story and the setting captivating on a very personal level. Since I hail from Georgia, the little 'southern' touches that were added made it very special to me. However, upon watching the movie, I'm realized that the art of subtlety had been lost somewhere from page to film. 

It's always a downer for me when I watch a 'southern' movie where all of the people live in huge mansions and all of the women dress in 1950's style and speak with a dramatic air worthy of Scarlet O'Hara. I have never heard a woman speak that way in my everyday life--or seen anyone dressing 'vintage'. Life in the everyday southern world is very different from its portrayal in Hollywood. 

Anyway, I thought the book was really well written, again unlike many of the other YA books I have read. Both writers weave a fascinating tale that grips the reader and takes them on a breath taking ride through the world of the Casters. 

My personal favorite things in the story are back story that explained the darkness in Lena's family as well as Macon's past. Of course I found the whole thing to be quite enjoyable! 

In short, Beautiful Creatures is an absolutely amazing work and I would highly recommend it! 

Well, thanks so much for listening. I know this is a much shorter review than before, but I'm trying to hit the right consistency with these things. :) 

I may be blogging quite a lot in the next few days, seeing how I'm locked inside due to all the rain!

Yes, I used it. :)